by Bill Pearis

The Rakes


Philadelphia's retro-rocking Free Energy are going on a 10-city tour with UK band The Rakes beginning October 31, that includes a Nov. 12 show at Highline Ballroom. (Tickets are on sale.) While Free Energy's debut album isn't due till next year, the band is releasing a three-song digital EP tomorrow (9/22) via the usual online outlets, and they'll have CD versions of it available at their merch table at shows. It includes their anthemic, nostalgic, kinda irresistible "theme song," (watch the video below) plus "Something in Common" and "Dark Trance."

Before the tour with the Rakes, the band play China and will most likely be unavoidable at next month's CMJ fest in NYC. After their stint with The Rakes, Free Energy will stay on the road for some southern dates. I saw them a few times over the summer and, questionable fashion sense aside, Free Energy are a lot of fun live and if you don't have an aversion to late '70s/early '80s stadium rock, the hooks are undeniable.

Headliners for the tour, The Rakes, are finally getting a U.S. release for their very good third album, Klang!, on Oct. 20 -- albeit only in digital form. Maybe you caught them when they played NYC in April. I wrote this about their Bowery Ballroom show:

Not seen here since May 2007, the London four-piece haven't had a record out in the States since their first (and the band just released their third, Klang!, in the UK), but you wouldn't know it judging by the crowd at Bowery Ballroom who are singing along to every word, whooping and hollering and generally going mental. Singer Alan Donohoe, sporting the kind of unfortunate front-only dye-job you might've seen Nick Rhodes wear in 1986, is in top twitchy form, even if he doesn't rock either of my favorite dance moves. (Both of which I've actually named: "The Elbow" and "Hot Corners.") He's got an awkward charisma that could mellow into Jarvis-like appeal in a couple albums. Really. The Class of 2005 may not be the coolest kids in school anymore (and this lot were always the underdogs anyway) but The Rakes, who now include a fifth member on guitars and keys, are as tight and appealing as ever.

All upcoming tour dates for Free Energy and the Rakes are below, as are their most recent videos...

Free Energy - "Free Energy"

The Rakes - "1989"

Free Energy - 2009 Tour Dates
09/25: Philadelphia, PA @ Phi Lam
10/02: Haverford, PA @ Lunt Basement
10/07: Beijing, China @ Modern Sky Festival (w/The Futureheads & British Seapower)
10/21: New York, NY @ Santos Partyhouse - CMJ Oh My Rockness Showcase
10/22: New York, NY @ Pianos - CMJ Windish Agency Showcase
10/24: London, UK @ Cargo (DFA Night)
10/26: London, UK @ Barfly
10/27: London, UK @ Rough Trade Records (Hoxton) In-Store (Early Show)/Waterats (Late Show)
10/28: London, UK @ Windmill
10/31: Los Angeles, CA @ The Roxy*
11/01: San Francisco, CA @ Slims*
11/03: Salt Lake City, UT @ The Urban Lounge*
11/04: Denver, CO @ The Bluebird*
11/06: Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock*
11/07: Chicago, IL @ Double Door*
11/09: Toronto, ON @ Mod Club*
11/10: Montreal, QC @ Petit Campus*
11/11: Boston, MA @ Great Scott*
11/12: New York, NY @ Highline Ballroom*
11/19: Dallas, TX @ The Cavern
11/20: Austin, TX @ The Mohawk
11/21: Baton Rouge, LA @ Spanish Moon
11/22: Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
11/23: Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506
11/24: Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar
11/25: Washington, DC @ DC9, set TBA
11/27: Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie
* = with The Rakes

The Rakes - 2009 Tour Dates
Sep 26 981 Festival La Couruna
Oct 3 Faust Hannover
Oct 4 Centralstation Darmstadt
Oct 6 New Age Club Treviso
Oct 7 Circolo Degli Artisti Rome
Oct 8 Viper Florence
Oct 9 Covo Club Bologne
Oct 10 Kammgarn Kaiserslautern
Oct 11 E-Werk Cologne
Oct 13 Beatpol Dresden
Oct 14 E-Werk Erlangen
Oct 16 Faust Utrecht, Holland
Oct 17 Rotonde Brussels
Oct 26 Cockpit Leeds
Oct 27 Academy Bristol
Oct 28 Academy Birmingham
Oct 31 Roxy Los Angeles
Nov 1 Slims San Francisco
Nov 3 Urban Lounge Salt Lake City
Nov 4 Bluebird Theater Denver
Nov 6 Tripple Rock Minneapolis
Nov 7 Subterranean Chicago
Nov 9 Mod Club Toronto
Nov 10 La Sala Rossa Montreal
Nov 11 Great Scott Boston
Nov 12 Highline Ballroom New York

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